Environmental law applicable to Indian lands is similar to the laws applicable throughout the nation, but with significant differences. States play a very limited role in regulating sources of emissions in Indian lands. The EPA has the major responsibility for controlling air pollution, but its efforts to date are inadequate. The CAA gives tribes the power to regulate air pollution, but only a few tribes, such as the Navajo Nation, have the resources to utilize this power. Voluminous federal regulations are aimed primarily at new sources, while existing sources have much less oversight, although this may be changing. The inability of the federal and state governments to effectively aggregate oil and gas operations in order to impose major source requirements has left important sources of rural air pollution to be minimally regulated. The new and pending regulations as well as the potential designation of lands used for oil and gas production as nonattainment areas may bring needed controls. But trying to effectively regulate an industry suffering from effects of low energy prices will be a challenge.
Reitze, Arnold W. Jr., "The Control of Air Pollution on Indian Reservations" (2017). Utah Law Faculty Scholarship. 4.